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LETTER XXVII.

DEAR S.:

The next day we went to hear a sermon in behalf of the ragged schools, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The children who attended the ragged schools of that particular district were seated in the gallery, each side of the organ. As this was the Sunday appropriated to the exercise, all three of the creeds were read — the Apostles', Athanasian, and Nicene; all which the little things repeated after the archbishop, with great decorum, and probably with the same amount of understanding that we, when children, had of the Assembly's Catechism.

The venerable archbishop was ushered into the pulpit by beadles, with gold lace cocked hats, striking the ground majestically with their long staves of office. His sermon, however, was as simple, clear, and beautiful an exposition of the duty of practical Christianity towards the outcast and erring as I ever heard. He said that, should we find a young child wandering away from its home and friends, we should instinctively feel it our duty to restore the little wanderer; and such, he said, is the duty we owe to all these young outcasts, who had strayed from the home of their heavenly Father.

After the sermon they took up a collection; and when we went into the vestry to speak to the archbishop, we saw him surrounded by the church wardens, counting over the money.

I noticed in the back part of the church a number of children in tattered garments, with rather a forlorn and wild appearance, and was told that these were those who had just been introduced into the school, and had not been there long enough to come under its modifying influences. We were told that they were always thus torn and forlorn in their appearance at first, but that they gradually took pains to make themselves respectable. The archbishop said, pleasantly, “ When they return to their right mind they appear clothed, also, and sitting at the feet of Jesus.”

The archbishop sent me afterwards a beautiful edition of his sermons on Christian charity, embracing a series of discourses on various topics of practical benevolence, relating to the elevation and christianization of the masses. They are written with the same purity of style, and show the same devout and benevolent spirit with his other writings.

My thoughts were much saddened to-day by the news, which I received this week, of the death of Mary Edmonson. It is not for her that I could weep; for she died as calmly and serenely as she lived, resigning her soul into the hands of her Savior. What I do weep for is, that under the flag of my country - and that country a Christian one — such a life as Mary's could have been lived, and so little said or done about it.

In the afternoon I went to the deanery of St. Paul's — a retired building in a deep court opposite the cathedral. After a brief conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Milman, we went to the cathedral. I had never seen it before, and was much impressed with the majesty and grace of the interior. Nevertheless, the Italian style of architecture, with all its elegance, fails to affect me equally with the Gothic. The very rudeness of the latter, a something inchoate and unfinished, is significant of matter struggling with religious ideas too vast to be fully expressed. Even as in the ancient Scriptures there are ideas which seem to overtask the powers of human language. I sat down with Mrs. M. in one of the little compartments, or stalls, as they are called, into which the galleries are divided, and which are richly carved in black oak. The whole service was chanted by a choir expressly trained for the purpose. Some of the performers are boys of about thirteen years, and of beautiful countenances. There is a peculiar manner of reading the service practised in the cathedrals, which is called “intoning.” It is a plaintive, rhythmical chant, with as strong an unction of the nasal as ever prevailed in a Quaker or Methodist meeting. I cannot exactly understand why Episcopacy threw out the slur of “nasal twang” as one of the peculiarities of the conventicle, when it is in full force in the most approved seats of church orthodoxy. I listened to all in as uncritical and sympathetic a spirit as possible, giving myself up to be lifted by the music as high as it could waft me. To one thus listening, it is impossible to criticize with severity; for, unless positively offensive, any music becomes beautiful by the power of sympathy and association. After service we listened to a short sermon from the Rev. Mr. Villiers, fervent, affectionate, and evangelical in spirit, and much in the general style of sermonizing which I have already described. Monday morning, May 23. We went to breakfast at Mr.

. Cobden’s. Mr. C. is a man of slender frame, rather under than over the middle size, with great ease of manner, and flexibility of movement, and the most frank, fascinating smile. His appearance is a sufficient account of his popularity, for le seems to be one of those men who carry about them an atmosphere of vivacity and social exhilaration. We had a very pleasant and social time, discussing and comparing things in England and America. Mr. Cobden assured us that he had had curious calls from Americans, sometimes. Once an editor of a small village paper called, who had been making a tour through the rural districts of England. He said that he had asked some mowers how they were prospering. They answered, “ We ain't prosperin’; we're hayin'.” Said Cobden, “I told the man, · Now don't you go home and publish that in your paper;' but he did, nevertheless, and sent me over the paper with the story in it.” I might have comforted him with many a similar anecdote of Americans, as for example, the man who was dead set against a tariff, “ 'cause he knew if they once got it, they'd run the old thing right through his farm ;" or those immortal Pennsylvania Dutchmen, who, to this day, it is said, give in all their votes under the solemn conviction that they are upholding General Jackson's administration.

The conversation turned on the question of the cultivation of cotton by free labor. The importance of this great measure was fully appreciated by Mr. Cobden, as it must be by all. The difficulties to be overcome in establishing the movement were no less clearly seen, and ably pointed out. On the whole, the comparison of views was not only interesting in a high degree, but to us, at least, eminently profitable. We ventured to augur favorably to the cause from the indications of that interview.

From this breakfast we returned to dine at Surrey parsonage; and, after dinner, attended Miss Greenfield's concert at Stafford House. Mr. S. could not attend on account of so soon leaving town.

The concert room was the brilliant and picturesque hall I have before described to you. It looked more picture-like and dreamy than ever. The piano was on the flat stairway just below the broad central landing. It was a grand piano, standing end outward, and perfectly banked up among hothouse flowers, so that only its gilded top was visible. Sir George Smart presided. The choicest of the élite were there. Ladies in demi-toilet and bonneted. Miss Greenfield stood among the singers on the staircase, and excited a sympathetic murmur among the audience. She is not handsome, but looked very well. She has a pleasing dark face, wore a black velvet headdress and white carnelian earrings, a black mohr antique silk, made high in the neck, with white lace falling sleeves and white gloves. A certain gentleness of manner and self-possession, the result of the universal kindness shown her, sat well upon her. Chevalier Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador, sat by me. He looked at her with much interest. “ Are the race often as good looking ?” he said. I said, “ She is not handsome, compared with many, though I confess she looks uncommonly well to-day.”

Among the company present I noticed the beautiful Marchioness of Stafford. I have spoken of her once before ; but it is difficult to describe her, there is something so perfectly simple, yet elegant, in her appearance; but it has cut itself like a cameo in my memory a figure under the middle size, perfectly moulded, dressed simply in black, a beautiful head, hair à la Madonna, ornamented by a band of gold coins on black velvet: a band of the same kind encircling her throat is the only relief to the severe simplicity of her dress.

The singing was beautiful. Six of the most cultivated glee singers of London sang, among other things, “ Spring's delights

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